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US retail sales fall for 2nd month as consumers pull back

WASHINGTON — Americans curtailed their shopping in June, with less spending at restaurants, department stores and gas stations. The spending cuts came despite a healthy job market and suggests that economic growth could remain sluggish. Sales at department stores, once the anchors of shopping malls and the pride of local communities, have dwindled. The rise of online shopping has left more retailers competing on price or striving to offer deeper discounts — factors that can limit overall sales figures. [...] it’s doubtful he can do so without a jolt in retail spending that would reflect greater consumer confidence and sustained income gains. Despite the slight improvement of sales by auto dealers, overall motor vehicle sales, which can include purchases by rental car companies, fell 3 percent in June.

Article by By Josh Boak (c) Business and Technology News - Read full story here.